Growing up my mum (Nikki) put the fear of God into me from a very young age.
One look was all it took for me to stop doing whatever it was that was upsetting her, whether that was having the television up too loud, hanging around the kitchen asking what she was doing or standing too close when she was drawing her eyebrows on and not giving her enough elbow room to move.
How she came to have this power over me I’ll never know. She’s five foot five, size 8 and compared to me, tiny.
None the less, we grew up never seeing eye to eye and constantly bitching and moaning at one another, secretly, I think it was because we’re so alike.
But not when it comes to food.
That woman may be small but my God she can eat.
Nik, as Andrew (dad) and I like to call her when we’re trying to piss her off, has a very set eating regime at night. This starts with dinner at 6.30pm, which is filled with meat and at least five different sorts of veggies piled high onto a plate. She will then have seconds. Now, that amount of food will generally feed a normal size person for the next two days, but not mum. At 8.20pm, before the 8.30pm program starts, she will jump out of her chair, ask Andrew what he wants to eat with his cup of tea and make her way to the kitchen.
This is where the fun part starts.
The jug is boiled, not once but twice. Toast is put down and tea is made. The first course usually includes two pieces of toast, thick with butter and honey. The second round is usually savoury again, a mug full of shapes, and to finish it off it’s more often than not a bag of chocolate fish, like a whole bag.
If I ate like this I would need to be crane-lifted from my house. Seriously.
Apparently, she’s into “lollies and chippies” at the moment. I can only imagine how horrendous their food bill is. When I went home she had nine blocks of chocolate in the cupboard. NINE.
Mum’s also a fan of the list. She has a whole basket dedicated to lists. It sits on the kitchen counter, filled with pens and notepads just begging her to be filled with ridiculous messages she must remember to tell me, her 27-year-old daughter, who lives in another country. There’s also a special list which lives on the fridge. This is the most important one. It’s the one she will go off when I’m at home for a visit.
‘Moosey, have you been to the dentist? Did you remember to call the bank? When was the last time you checked your superannuation? It’s Judy’s birthday in September, don’t forget that.’ Etc, etc.
The lists I can deal with, I’ve grown up with them and to be honest I’m pretty sure it’s part of the reason I too, am obsessed with lists. How else do people remember to brush their teeth and go to work?
But where we differ greatly is in routine. And Nikki’s routines are not a joke.
Night-time is the worst, it starts with the food, the boiling of the kettle twice and the routine of eating each food in order. It then moves to the checking of the house. She walks around, checking and double checking every lock and door before making her way to the bathroom and eventually into bed. But it doesn’t stop here. She then reads for a bit, gets back up out of bed and checks and re-checks the entire house again. She told me she can check the doors anywhere between 38 to 45 times. I think we might have an issue.
I thought perhaps these quirks may have to do with her star sign. Nikki’s a Gemini, but she will tell you she’s actually a dog.
According to astrology, Gemini’s are a mix of the yin and the yang, and are represented by twins. The Gemini-born are ‘intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information. They can be wishy-washy, too, changing their mood on a simple whim’. Now we’re talking. When it comes to mum there are definitely two sides – one’s a psychopath and the other’s everybody’s best friend.
But mum prefers to go off the Chinese horoscope, telling everyone ‘I’m a dog’. So I did some research.
‘The dog is very righteous, and always is the first to speak out against injustice’. True. You do NOT want to be the checkout chick at the supermarket who tries to charge my mum $1.99 for rice crackers, which were CLEARLY on special for $1.59.
‘The dog is an agreeable companion – when they are in a good mood. But when panic strikes, they can turn nasty, and bark till they are tired’. Hmmmm, yes.
Then I found this: ‘Dogs are born old and get younger as they age’.
Well I guess that explains why my mum turned 50 and in the five years since has had eight or so tattoos, not including the time she thought getting tattooed eyebrows would save her loads of time in the morning, you know – not having to draw them on and all that. Mum also loves a party, (and she can drink anyone I know under the table), she loves a dance and thinks she does a better rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On than Celine herself.
At my wedding she met one of my friends Dan. This is a friendship I should have been worried about, but didn’t give it much thought since, you know, I was getting married and all that.
Since then, almost every time I talk to mum she asks after him.
This is a segment from our last conversation:
Mum: How’s Dan? Is he seeing anyone yet?
Me: He’s good, yea kind of, I think we’re going out for dinner with him next week.
Mum: I would go out with him if I was younger, yip, he’s right up my ally. He’s funny, yes I would definitely do that.
Well mum, judging by Dan’s latest snapchat to me, he’ll be waiting in the wings.
But in all seriousness, Nikki may be one crazy mumma, but I wouldn’t change her for the world. She’s my best friend, my mum and my dog.
Happy Mother’s Day you crazy beautiful woman X